TCL predicted to become world's #2 TV manufacturer this year

Mike Wheatley

The Chinese TV manufacturer TCL is aiming to surpass LG Electronics and become the world’s second-largest TV supplier in terms of volume shipped, and could do so by the end of the year.


That’s according to a report by the Korean website The Elec, which cites a forecast from the analyst firm Omdia.

According to that report, TCL is planning to buy more TV display panels this year than LG Electronics is planning. While not all of those panels will end up being sold as TVs, Omdia said TCL may well sell enough to capture second place in the global TV market from LG.

Samsung Electronics is the world’s biggest TV manufacturer and has enjoyed that privileged position for years. This year, it’s said to be planning on procuring 55.6 million display panels for TVs. LG, meanwhile, has allocated 34.3 million TV display panels, below TCL’s plan to acquire 34.3 million TV display panels.

LG buys the bulk of its panels from its subsidiary LG Display, while TCL sources the majority of its from CSoT, its own subsidiary.

It remains to be seen how many of those panels the companies will be able to shift onto consumers, so TCL’s ascendency is not yet confirmed. However, it has been getting much closer to LG in terms of TV shipments in previous years. In 2021, LG reportedly shipped a total of 27.33 million TVs, while TCL sold 24.57 million units. That means the gap has closed to less than three million units, down from a gap of 6.84 million units in 2019, Omdia said.

Although TCL will likely want to seize upon the honor of being the world’s number two TV maker if it does assume the position this year, if only for marketing purposes, LG is unlikely to care all that much. The company has in recent years shifted its focus to the more profitable high-end TV segment, particularly OLED TVs, where it has boosted its lineup with additional sizes. As such, LG still has a substantial lead over TCL in terms of TV market revenue.

TCL meanwhile is focused more on the lower-end and medium segments of the market, though it does also sell high-end models. It is, notably, the only major TV manufacturer that still doesn’t sell OLED TVs, following Samsung’s move to embrace QD-OLED this year.